Saturday, June 30, 2018

Anglican cathedrals reviving pre-Reformation practices in England

From Aleteia-

Whether it’s being done for evangelistic purposes or to boost the coffers of struggling churches, several Anglican cathedrals in England are reviving practices that had been abandoned since the Reformation.

One is even holding processions in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
British cathedrals are “transforming their genteel image with bright color, noisy processions and drama, reviving long-abandoned practices from the middle ages and drawing in the crowds,” reported the Guardian.

Those “long-abandoned practices” include medieval mystery plays, which were once common features in Christian villages throughout Europe as a way to teach the faith to a largely illiterate populace.

Their revival comes at a time when Europe has one of the lowest rates of Christian adherence in centuries, as well as at a time when smart phone use is at an all-time high.

“We have returned to a very visual culture today, and medieval practices suit that,” said Jeffrey John, the dean of St. Alban’s Cathedral in Hertfordshire who created a modern-day pilgrimage to honor the first Christian martyred in Britain. “And if you have strong medieval roots as so many cathedrals do, you are bound to probe them and revive that heritage.”

More here-

mmigrant family separations turned these Delaware women into first-time protest-starters

From Delaware-

Three different generations of Delaware women — none of whom have ever led a protest before — are the organizers behind a trio of immigration protests across the state Saturday.

After President Trump's "zero tolerance" immigration policy and child separations, the women all had the same reaction: "I have to do something."

Wilmington's Maria Perez, 69, Bear's Joni Newby, 38, and Dover's McKenzie Melvin, 18 — none of whom know one other — each created an event on as part of more than 600 protests scheduled across the country this weekend.

While their backgrounds may be different — Perez is a doctor, Newby is a social worker  and Melvin is a college student — their message is unified: Stop separating families and treat migrants and refugees with respect.

"A child being separated from their parents is just unthinkable. And for a parent not to know where their child is — it doesn't make any sense to me," says Perez, a longtime member of Milltown's St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, the site of her protest. "I just felt that I needed to do this."

The event organized by Perez will be held at St. Barnabas' Episcopal Church, 2800 Duncan Rd., and starts at 10 a.m.

More here-

Bishops propose solution for full access to same-sex marriage rites

From ENS-

Three bishops have proposed a resolution on same-sex marriage that “seeks to ensure that all of God’s people have access to all the marriage liturgies of the church, regardless of diocese, while respecting the pastoral direction and conscience of the local bishop.”

Long Island Bishop Lawrence Provenzano, Pittsburgh Bishop Dorsey McConnell and Rhode Island Bishop Nicholas Knisely said in a news release late on June 28 that their Resolution B012 is “an attempt to move the church forward in an atmosphere of mutual respect, reconciliation and the love of Jesus Christ.”

The resolution continues to authorize the two trial-use marriage rites first approved by the 2015 meeting of General Convention without time limit and without seeking a revision of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer.

“Given our particular time in history, this resolution provides a way forward for the whole church without the possible disruption of ministry that might be caused by the proposed revision of the Book of Common Prayer,” the three bishops said.

More here-

Friday, June 29, 2018

Clergy members protesting immigration policies arrested in Los Angeles ahead of Jeff Sessions visit

From Los Angeles (via NY)-

Nearly two dozen clergy members were arrested in Los Angeles Tuesday as they protested the Trump administration’s immigration policies and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ planned visit to the area.

The religious leaders from different faith backgrounds linked arms to block Spring St. near a federal courthouse as police ordered them to disperse.

With cops threatening immediate arrest, they sat down side-by-side in the street in an act of civil disobedience organized by Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE), a spokeswoman for the group told the Daily News.

Rabbi Aryeh Cohen was one of the clergy members hauled away in plastic cuffs. Speaking to The News after his release, Cohen said he was one of 23 total clergy members cited with an infraction for failing to follow a lawful order.

More here-

Arizona Church Speaks Out Ahead of Expected Melania Trump State Visit: 'Jesus Doesn't Want Kids to Be in Cages'

From Arizona-

First lady Melania Trump was expected to land in Tucson, Arizona, on Thursday, marking her second trip to visit facilities holding undocumented immigrant families. Ahead of the first lady’s visit, a local church hung two banners affirming their position as to where Jesus would stand on the issue of detaining children. 

Saint Philip's In The Hills Episcopal Church, located about 15 miles from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, where the first lady was expected to fly into from Washington, D.C, posted two banners on a wall outside the church facing a busy intersection, according to Fox 11 News. 

The banners show a photo of a young boy standing next to two people, who appear to be border patrol agents, accompanied by the words, “Jesus doesn't want kids to be in cages."

More here-

Episcopal Church in the US holds prayer vigil for migrant families separated at the border

From The Church Times-

ON JUNE 21, the longest day of the year, the Episcopal Church in the United States held a prayer vigil for family unity from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. in its chapel on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, to call attention to the Trump administration’s policy of separating the children of migrant families. The day was chosen, the Episcopal News Service said on its website, “in recognition of the fact that any day children are separated from their parents is too long”.

Although the President made a U-turn hours before the vigil — after videos showing children held in “tender-age facilities” crying for their parents provoked outrage — the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Most Revd Michael Curry, said that concerns about the detention of families continued.

In a video message urging people to log on to the prayer vigil, which was screened live on Facebook, he said: “The ways that we implement our immigration concerns, the ways that we secure our borders, need not be separated from our compassion and our human decency.”

More here-

Episcopal Church in Sc to host open conversations

From South Carolina-

The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC) will host three public open conversations held in Conway, Charleston and Bluffton between July 16-18 at 6 - 7:30 p.m.

TECSC is offering the open conversations to provide information and answer questions for people whose churches are affected by recent court decisions giving control of the property of the Diocese of South Carolina and 28 parishes to The Episcopal Church and its recognized diocese, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina.

“We understand this is a time of great concern and confusion for people who care deeply about their faith communities,” said the Right Rev. Gladstone B. Adams III, Bishop of TECSC. “We want to listen well and respond to their questions in order to offer a clear picture of how people can remain in their churches as part of The Episcopal Church.”

More here-

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Group of bishops proposes compromise on thorny issue of paying House of Deputies president

From ENS-

A group of bishops has proposed a compromise on the question of whether the president of the House of Deputies should be paid, an issue that has proved divisive at previous General Conventions.
The compromise comes as the result of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s desire for the issue to get a “full and fair conversation” in the House of Bishops, Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania Sean Rowe told Episcopal News Service June 28.

That conversation began informally at the March House of Bishops meeting. Rowe and the group then crafted Resolution B014 that would direct the church’s Executive Council to pay the House of Deputies president director’s fees “for specific services rendered in order to fulfill duties required by the church’s Constitution and Canons.”

The resolution, and others related to the issue, will be debated during the July 5-13 meeting of General Convention in Austin, Texas.

More here-

Mainstream Christianity in America has failed. It looks nothing like Jesus.

From Sojourners-

For the last few years Christians have been singing worship songs that include lyrics like “ keep my eyes above the waves, when oceans rise …” and yet have rejected refugees who’ve seen loved ones die beneath waves, who themselves have literally struggled to keep from drowning in oceans. Those American Christians — particularly white evangelicals — continue to sing the words: “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders …” but fail to realize the shameful irony that they’re largely responsible for refusing shelter and opportunity to some of the world’s most helpless and oppressed people.

This represents a predominant theme of Westernized Christendom: proclaiming Christian rhetoric while actively — or passively — practicing the opposite in reality.

Because while the gospels instruct followers of Christ to help the poor, oppressed, maligned, mistreated, sick, and those most in need of help, Christians in America have largely supported measures that have rejected refugees, refused aid to immigrants, cut social services to the poor, diminished help for the sick, fueled xenophobia, reinforced misogyny, ignored racism, stoked hatred, reinforced corruption, and largely increased inequality, prejudice, and fear.

More here-

Four Nominees in Europe

From Europe-

The Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe has announced four nominees in its search for the next bishop in charge:
  • The Rev. Canon Paul-Gordon Chandler, president and CEO of CARAVAN, an international ministry of building peace through the arts, based in metropolitan Chicago
  • The Rev. Mark D.W. Edington, rector of St. John’s Church, Newtonville, Massachusetts, and director of Amherst College Press
  • The Rev. Steven Paulikas, rector of All Saints’ Church, Brooklyn
  • The Very Rev. Benjamin Shambaugh, dean of the Cathedral Church of St. Luke, Portland, Maine
The election is scheduled for the convocation’s convention, scheduled for Oct. 18-21 at All Saints’ Church in Waterloo, Belgium.

More here-

Atlanta churches join in rebuke of federal immigration policy

From Atlanta-

Joining other churches in the Atlanta area, the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church (IHM) and the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany (ECE) have published rebukes of President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.

The IHM statement from Father Javier Muñoz states that the “the separation of immigrant children from their parents is countenanced, much less embraced, by anyone in our nation demonstrates how far we have fallen in common decency and respect for the human person.”

Although the current administration has recently shifted its immigration policies and is no longer separating families, many groups still believe that it is not enough.

“As I told our United States Senators, my representative and the White House when I contacted them last week: A letter like this should not have to be written,” the pastor wrote.

More here-

Convention to face ‘tough societal questions’ confronting the Episcopal Church

From ENS-

When the 79th General Convention considers the resolutions proposed by the House of Deputies Committee on the State of the Church, it will confront “tough questions” facing the Episcopal Church in the current social environment.

The pressing areas of social justice, multiculturalism and ethnic ministries were all examined during the committee’s three-year study of how the Episcopal Church can better equip itself and minister effectively in multiple social contexts in “these deeply troubled and divisive times,” the committee’s report states.

If there is an overarching takeaway, the committee’s chair, the Rev. Winnie S. Varghese of the Diocese of New York, hopes it is that “we need to find more ways to release the gifts of the church from communities that we tend to position as ‘being served’ by the church,” she said in an email in response to questions submitted by Episcopal News Service.

More here-

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Anglican bishop riding for reconciliation

From Canada-

The Right Reverend Rob Hardwick is cycling across Canada in the name of unity, healing and reconciliation.

Hardwick, who has served as the bishop of the Diocese of Qu’Appelle for the past five years, knows about the often uneasy relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada.
He says that his diocese, located in southern Saskatchewan, had the longest-running residential school in Canada.

“The pain of that, the pain of that history, is with us,” Hardwick said. “The pain of so many people that have lost their culture and have been abused in various ways.”

“This bike ride is a form of penance, in a way, but it’s also to try and bring reconciliation.”

More here-

Christian “Who Happens to be Gay” Protests the Episcopal Diocese of Florida

From Florida-

When the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church meets this summer, it’s widely expected to pass a measure fully approving gay marriage within the church. It took a big step toward that decision the last time the body met, in 2015. There were, however, some holdouts, including the diocese that encompasses the Episcopalian churches of Northeast Florida.

Lawrence Denton, a lifelong Episcopalian, took it hard when the Diocese of Florida opted out of the church’s 2015 decision to approve “trial rights” for gay marriage. While the Episcopal Church has been far more progressive on the issue than most protestant denominations, the diocese that represents Northeast Florida is part of about 10 percent of dioceses that chose to go in another direction. Denton describes himself as a “lifelong Episcopalian who happens to be gay.”

So in 2015, Denton stopped attending the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Riverside, where he’d been a member since 1997, sending a letter of protest to Bishop Samuel Johnson Howard, as well as to leaders and friends in his home congregation.

Denton has lived in Jacksonville since the late 1980s and has belonged to various congregations, including St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral downtown and the Metropolitan Community Church. He joined Good Shepherd because a friend told him the clergy and members were gay-friendly; the members founded a local chapter of the national group Integrity USA, whose website characterizes it as “working for full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the Episcopal Church and beyond.”

More here-,20066

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry meets backstage with U2, Bono to talk about Reclaiming Jesus

From ENS-

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry met backstage this week with U2 and front man Bono at New York’s Madison Square Garden, where the Episcopal Church leader and the globally renowned rockers discussed Curry’s Reclaiming Jesus initiative.

The meeting happened in the evening June 25 just before the first of a series of U2 concerts in New York on the band’s Experience + Innocence tour. A photo released by the band shows the foursome posing with Curry.

“I know of no other group that has sung and witnessed more powerfully to the way of love than U2,” Curry said June 27 in a written statement to Episcopal News Service. “It was a real blessing to sit with them to talk about Jesus, the way of love, and changing our lives and the world. They are an extraordinary community gift to us all.”

More here-

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Church dedicates free, outdoor food pantry

From Alabama-

Trinity Episcopal Church became the first Clanton church to open a free, outdoor food pantry service developed by Shelby County nonprofit organization Three Hearts One Mission.

Stationed outside the church’s next-door Heflin House, the miniature pantry resembles a large birdhouse on a stand with a glass door offering a sneak-peek at its canned contents.

Co-founder Rachel Davidson of Three Hearts One Mission said the pantry is a safe source of canned goods for the needs of anonymous community members.

“We’re delighted this is going to be the first one, but we’re also looking forward to having more of them in different places and working with you in the years to come,” Janet Pandzik told Three Hearts One Mission founders during a dedication ceremony on June 22.

More here-

As A Queer Indian-American Christian, This Priest Had To Create Her Own Path

From Huffington-

One of Rev. Winnie Varghese’s proudest moments as a queer priest was being asked to speak to an ecumenical gathering of Christian leaders in India about homophobia in the church.
Starting around 2009, the country started re-examining Section 377, a colonial-era ban on gay sex that is still being debated in Indian courts. During the conference, Varghese stood up and testified to the assembly of mostly male Indian priests about how Christian bigotry has hurt LGBTQ people. 
Varghese said that it was a powerful experience for her ― and one of the hardest things she’s ever had to do. 
“It was just about me as a person,” the 46-year-old said. “It was me as a queer priest saying, ‘This is who I am. And this is what the church demands of you.’”
Varghese, 46, is an Episcopal priest who lives in New York. A queer South Asian woman, Varghese said she’s often called on to perform a “ministry of representation,” showing people what it’s like to listen to a priest with her unique identities.

More here-

Episcopalians join the Poor People’s Campaign rally, march on Washington

From ENS-

Fifty years ago, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. led a Poor People’s Campaign. As part of that campaign, during an April 1968 trip to Memphis, Tennessee, in support of African-American sanitation workers striking for higher wages, King was shot dead. Today, a new Poor People’s Campaign is under way and Episcopalians are getting involved.

“Today you are the founding members of the 21st century’s ‘Poor People’s Campaign:  A National Call for Moral Revival.’ We gather today for a call to action. We gather here declaring it’s time for a moral uprising all across America,” said the Rev. William Barber on June 23. He co-chairs the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, along with the Rev. Liz Theoharis.

“This is not the commemoration of what happened 50 years ago, this the reenactment and the re-inauguration. Because you do not commemorate prophets and prophetic movements. You go in the blood where they fell and reach down and pick up the baton and carry it the next mile of the way. For three years we’ve been laying a foundation from the bottom up, not the top down.”

More here-

Monday, June 25, 2018

Bishops’ presence at Gafcon an ‘absolute disgrace’

From Ireland-

Attendance by two Church of Ireland bishops at the conservative Global Anglican Future Conference (Gafcon) meeting in Jerusalem last week has provoked deep anger among the church’s clergy.
They have described it as “an absolute disgrace”, “schismatic”, and as illustrating “how utterly out of touch some senior clergy” were with church membership.

Bishop Harold Miller of Down and Dromore and Bishop Ferran Glenfield of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh attended the meeting with other senior clergy from the Church of Ireland and members of Gafcon Ireland set up last April.

Gafcon came into being after the election in the US Episcopal Church (Anglican) of the openly gay Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire in 2003.

It describes itself as “a global family of authentic Anglicans standing together to retain and restore the Bible to the heart of the Anglican Communion”.

Gafcon includes Anglican Primates from many Africa countries as well as bishops and clergy from Australia, Canada and the US who boycotted the last gathering of the worldwide Anglican Communion at the 2008 Lambeth Conference.

More here-

Punishing pastors - Anglican bishop calls for PM's intervention after RGD institutes charge to register clergy as marriage officers

From Jamaica-

Several pastors across the island could surrender their marriage officer's licences in protest of a decision by the Registrar General's Department (RGD) to charge them $10,000 to register, plus an annual registration fee.

The pastors are also upset about an invitation by the RGD for all marriage officers to attend a training session that costs a further $15,000.

The Reverend Dr Howard Gregory, Anglican bishop of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, raised the issue last week in an open letter to Prime Minister Andrew Holness, seeking clarification.

According to Gregory, attempts to get answers or a resolution have so far been met with promises to look into the matter and, at times, the lack of courtesy of a response.

"He needs to say something as to exactly what is the position of the Government in relation to what is being done in relation to marriage officers, particularly ministers, at this time," argued Gregory.

More here-

Bishop Michael Curry reveals the exact moment he knew Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were in love – and it’s so sweet

From The Sun-

ONE of the stand-out moments from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding was the unforgettable speech by Bishop Michael Curry.

Now the US Bishop has revealed the exact moment he knew that the couple were head over heels for each other – and it’s extremely heartwarming.

Bishop Curry said to US Weekly: "Once I realised this was really happening, it was a real blessing to be a part of that. Because what they did, you could see it. They actually love each other. They really do.
"They look at each other like they love each other. I remember thinking after the sermon, once I preached the sermon, I said, 'These two people love each other.'

More here-

During visit to La Crosse, top Episcopal bishop says nation can heal with power of love vs. love of power

From Wisconsin (If a survey comes up hit refresh)-

Delivering the sermon at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding last month gave Episcopalian Presiding Bishop Michael Curry a much bigger pulpit, but his head hasn’t swelled and his message hasn’t changed — judging by his visit Saturday to Christ Episcopal Church in La Crosse.
Curry’s sermon at the May 19 wedding, broadcast live to millions of people around the globe, drew widespread praise for his impassioned plea for love of Jesus Christ and each other — widely interpreted as an admonition to restore civility to public and private discourse.

“I don’t think I said anything new,” Curry said during an interview before he participated in two events at Christ Episcopal, a congregation of 325 souls. “There’s something about preaching about love that has gone unsaid for a while.
“I wanted to say something, speaking to the couple, but with understanding for the rest of the world,” he said. “It’s part of my heart.”
The 65-year-old Curry, who was elected the first black bishop of the Episcopal Church in 2015, basically is the top official of the denomination in the United States.

More here- 

also here-